Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hidden R2-D2 In J.J. Abram's Star Trek Found

R2-D2 of Star Wars seems to have become a favorite robot to cameo in films. The cute but precocious robot has appeared in Raiders of the Lost Ark before (left) together with circuit-buddy C-3PO (do you see them?), but that film's also by George Lucas. This time, however, it's been included by J.J. Abrams in his Star Trek prequel (above; click image to view larger picture). Everyone knows that there's always been the debate on which space opera franchise is better - Star Wars or Star Trek. Now, Abrams' seems to want to bring the fans of the two franchises together as one happy family.

R2D2 only appears in the battle scene for a split second and it took the Gizmodo blog a while to find it. People who have watched the recently released DVD in slow motion also claimed seeing the droid gliding through space amidst the chaos, as if it has an "it's been there and done that" attitude.

Hidden things, or "Easter eggs" are fun, and Disney often uses them in it's movies, sneaking in Mickey Mouse's ears in scenes. Now other producers are also doing it and it seems the guys at Lucas's Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) special effects company are having lots of fun doing it. It helps in marketing, no doubt about it, and it's also become part of the off-theater entertainment of films, now that portable movie players are easily available and now that movies are easily viewed, replayed, and watched repeatedly online.

Did I mention that R2-D2 also has a cameo in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (above; effects also by ILM) and that director Lucas also added a cameo of E.T. in The Phantom Menace? Wouldn't you like to see a "Where in Space Is R2-D2?" book published?

Yes, R2-D2 is everywhere and it seems he can also be there beside your computer as a nifty USB hub! Click here or on the image to place your order.

Want to read about more cinema secrets? Click here to go to the Cinema Secrets blog.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Monsters in Clash of the Titans Inspired by Guillermo del Toro's Palm-Eyed Monster in Pan's Labyrinth?

Monsters come and go in movies, but great monsters never leave people's imaginations and inspire other designs of movie monsters. Take for example the palm-eyed monster in Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth (left). That's a creepy one and a lot of people will agree that it's horrific with an eyeless head, loose pale skin, and palms with eyes that should have been on the face, which this creature doesn't have. This monster apparently inspired the monsters in the new Clash of the Titans (2010).

Here are the monsters (there's a horde of them) in the re-imagining of the 1981 classic, Clash of the Titans. There's another picture on top that shows a palm-eye. There's no mistaking the resemblance to the del Toro monster. It's definitely inspired by the one in Pan's Labyrinth. Del Toro has a fascination for creepy eyes. But while the one in the Guillermo del Toro masterpiece looks gaunt and sedentary, these "gourd" creatures in Clash of the Titans are warriors. They're like the orcs in The Lord of the Rings - mean and fearless.

We can only wonder how these monsters are able to see and fight at the same time if they are wielding weapons in both hands. I guess they carry only one weapon at a time. The hair and forehead kind of reminds us of John Lithgow. Another inspiration, perhaps? Just kidding. Anyway, despite the resemblance to the Pan's Labyrinth creature, the "gourd" monsters are still scary and effective in this movie. Clash of the Titans (2010) stars Sam Worthington (Avatar) as Perseus, Alexa Davalos (The Chronicles of Riddick) as Andromeda, and Gemma Arterton (The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time) as Io.

This is the toy version of Sam Worthington's Perseus. He looks mean, but at least he's also cute as a vinyl figure with five points of articulation. Click here or on the image to place your order.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Talk of a Manny Pacquiao Hollywood Biopic - Probable Cast: Johnny Depp as Pacquiao?

After Filipino boxer, Manny Pacquiao's huge win over Puerto Rican slugger, Miguel Cotto, there's been talk on who could possibly play Pacquiao in a Hollywood movie biopic (if such a movie is ever made). With the popularity of Pacquiao rising like a tsunami, it's likely that there will be a Hollywood movie about his life in the future. But who are the actors and actresses who can play Pacquiao and the people around him?

During training at Coach Freddie Roach's (left) Wild Card gym, actor Mickey Rourke came in for a visit. A documentary or news report on Pacquiao was also being filmed and he joked about him playing the now famous trainer "ten years from now". Those are the actor's own words. Rourke was apparently kidding about Roach's old age. Rourke is a frequent visitor to Roach's gym and has watched Pacquiao train in ad out of the ring.

Rourke (left) used to be a professional boxer and had Roach as a trainer. They became good friends in the partnership. A lot of the boxing equipment in Roach's Wild Card gym came from Rourke after he retired from his brief career in boxing. Pacquiao certainly made good use of them in his bid to become the only boxer to win seven titles in seven different weight divisions.

Anyway back to the Pacquiao movie. One likely pick on who can play "the Pacman" convincingly, even if he's not Asian, is actor Johnny Depp. This actor is so versatile. He can easily morph his appearance, character, and manner of speech as he sees fit for a character. He's played so many interesting characters in his career, like in the movies of director Tim Burton, there's no doubt about his acting abilities.

Depp (left) certainly has what it takes to play Manny Pacquiao very well. If you compare his appearance to Pacquiao's, you can see that he can definitely pull it off, especially with his mustache and goatee. While it's true they do not really look alike, Depp will only need to trim his hair a bit and add a little makeup, and you've got a Manny Pacquiao character for a Hollywood movie. Depp and Pacquiao even have the same taste for hats!

Another actor who's been picked by don in Yahoo! Answers, is Jason Scott Lee, who's also Asian like Pacquiao. Lee, who's more Chinese than South East Asian, also has what it takes to play the Filipino champion. He's already played Bruce Lee before and has the physical attributes of a boxer already that would look good on film.

Well, a Pacquiao movie will not be complete without the boxer's mother, who's popularly known in the Philippines as "Aling" Dionisia (left). The Pacman's mom is known to pray the rosary every time her son has a match. After the fight against Cotto, she asked her son to call it quits. It's really a dangerous sport. The role is right for actress Victoria Principal.

We all know beautiful Victoria Principal (left) from the hit series Dallas from the 1980s. She only needs to change her hairdo, add some defining features, and she's perfect. Of course, as she'd be catering to a Western audience, her looks would likely be tailored to meet expectations in a Hollywood movie. You can view another picture of Victoria Principal here.

Of course, if the mother's there, the wife, Jinkee Pacquiao (left), should also be a major character in our hypothetical movie. She's always there to support her husband in his fights and played a big role in his success. The ideal actress for this part is undoubtedly Fairuza Balk. Most of you will remember her from the witchcract movie, The Craft.

Fairuza Balk (left) can obviously play Mrs. Jinkee Pacquiao very well. They already look alike to start with. In fact, if you didn't know Fairuza is an actress, you'd swear she's the sister of Jinkee. With or without makeup, they look alike enough to be twins! You'll see the resemblance even more in the couple of pictures that follow below. The difference in eye-color can be fixed with colored contact lenses.

There are lots more characters around Manny Pacquiao who we can choose our favorite actors and actresses to play these roles. Floyd Mayweather, for example, can be played by Will Smith. Not everyone will agree, but Smith is still a good choice since he already played legendary boxer Muhammad Ali. Another pick by cessyboo in Yahoo! Answers is Jamie Fox. But until Manny and Floyd "Money" fight, there might not be a story that's worthwhile enough to be turned into a movie. If there's ever going to be a Manny Pacquiao movie, it's likely going to be made many years from now.

Great boxers are honed by time. Let this wall clock remind you of that fact. Click here or on the image to place your order.